Sonic Mania is the LongLost Sonic Game Weve Always Wanted

Posted On Sep 20 2019 by

first_imgStay on target Sega Makes PC Version of Sonic Mania Playable Offline After BacklashJapanese Video Games Made Better By The West It’s safe to say that the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has struggled in 3D. While the Sonic Adventure games were decent enough, nearly every 3D Sonic game has been horrendous. For whatever reason, Sega just couldn’t capture the magic of the original games in a 3D space. The series has floundered for so long, but Sega is finally going back to the series’ 2D roots with Sonic Mania. Forget about Sonic 4, this is the true sequel to the Sonic games of old.The most noteworthy aspect of Sonic Mania is who created it. Though published by Sega, Sonic Mania was developed by fans of the series. Christian Whitehead, along with Headcannon and PagodaWest Games, originally started out making fan-made Sonic games. Sega recognized their talent and hired them to develop Sonic Mania. Since fans created it, you can actually feel the passion behind every aspect of the title. This is a game made by people who truly love the blue hedgehog.Sonic Mania does a masterful job of being both nostalgic and original. In many ways, this game feels like a greatest hits album with new tracks. Classic stages like Green Hill and Chemical Plant stand alongside new levels like Press Garden and Studiopolis in perfect harmony. Even though there are old stages, they are filled with many new elements. Sonic Mania liberally sprinkles aspects from all of the Genesis/Sega CD games throughout. At the same time, it also introduces brand-new gameplay mechanics that work nicely with the old Sonic formula.Sonic games are mostly known for their speed. While this is true to some extent, I always enjoyed exploring levels. Like Sonic 3/Sonic & Knuckles, the stages in Sonic Mania are massive. There are a great deal of alternate routes, shortcuts, and hidden passages. You can replay a stage several times and always find something new. This game isn’t limited by old hardware, allowing it to truly shine in the level design department.From a graphics standpoint, this is the most visually complex 2D Sonic game ever released. Each stage has several scrolling background layers that give an added sense of depth. Running at 60 frames per second, sprites and background objects are animated smoothly. Colors are crisp and vibrant throughout all of the myriad levels. Despite being a graphical powerhouse, it still very much looks like a Sonic game from the 90s. At the same time, features like object transparency and multi-layered scrolling make it feel modern.Sonic Mania‘s special stages introduce a different visual style. Inspired by Sonic CD, these polygonal stages have Sonic chasing a UFO before time runs out. These levels are the one aspect I wasn’t entirely satisfied with. I would have preferred if the devs went with the Mode 7-like graphics from Sonic CD‘s special stages. I’m nitpicking, but the polygonal style doesn’t lend itself well to the rest of the game. I still have fun playing through these sections, but I would have liked sprites instead of polygons.Boss battles were always a highlight in past Sonic games and Sonic Mania doesn’t disappoint in that regard. I’ve played the old games so often that going up against bosses isn’t anything special. Because off that, I loved playing a new 2D Sonic game without having a clue of what the bosses would dish out. Figuring out some of the boss patterns could be difficult, but that’s also part of the fun. I also enjoyed some of the completely out-of-left-field boss encounters the game tossed at me. When you get to the final boss in Chemical Plant Zone 2, you’ll know what I’m talking about.Even in a year filled to the brim with so many great titles, Sonic Mania stands out as one of the best. It proves without a shadow of a doubt that Sonic the Hedgehog works best in 2D. Hopefully, newer gamers will play it and understand why their old-school brethren hold the series in such high regard. It hasn’t been easy being a Sonic fan all these years, so it’s great to finally have something to be proud of. Sonic Mania is the Sonic the Hedgehog game long-time fans deserve.Sonic Mania is now available on PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One. It will be available for PC on August 29.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

Last Updated on: September 20th, 2019 at 8:12 am, by

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